In the future, Heka’s yard design and maintenance operations will take biodiversity, the reduction of adverse environmental effects, storm water management, safety and living comfort into consideration better than before.

Our principles for sustainable maintenance and care were developed in a pilot project that involved developing and replanning the maintenance of the yards of 40 of Heka’s special housing locations. The pilot project was carried out in co-operation with Ramboll over several maintenance seasons.

As the pilot yielded positive experiences, it was decided to introduce the principles in all of Heka’s areas and yards. The pilot project also encouraged us to develop our instructions for designing yards, and for example, nature-based solutions will be emphasised in the future.

Increasing diversity, living comfort and green roofs, prohibiting the use of glyphosate

So, what does sustainable yard design and maintenance mean?

Here are the key principles:

  • Yards that are diverse in terms of nature values: only domestic plant species are used in yard areas, and species that are deemed invasive at EU or national level are removed.
  • We combat weeds with environmentally friendly methods and herbicides. No glyphosate is used in yard maintenance.
  • Suitable surfaces are used as green roofs.
  • We manage storm waters in a natural manner and utilise them with nature-based solutions, such as rain indentations or ponds.
  • We collect waste from yard maintenance operations for reuse as fertilisers, mulch or land construction materials, for example. We also favour recycled materials in structures.
  • The work machinery and vehicles we use are low-emission. We favour electric machinery and vehicles.
  • We take our residents’ needs into account: we observe the different functional requirements of different age groups and special groups.
  • We involve residents in yard design and maintenance processes, through means such as holding voluntary work events or brainstorming sessions.

Assistance for co-operation partners in a more sustainable direction

Our principles for sustainable yard design and maintenance are gradually becoming more visible in our yards, and they are also taken into account when selecting co-operation partners.

“Encouraging our co-operation partners to develop their operations in a more sustainable direction is important to us. These actions result in genuine influence and effectiveness,” says Environmental Manager Marika Nyyssönen from Heka.

For more information, watch the video from Heka and Ramboll about the new principles. The video was shot in the beautiful yard of Kontunkuja 5, which has been maintained in accordance with the sustainable maintenance and care principles.